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Beat that winter blah by getting your preschoolers out and about.

With a little exercise, children will sleep better because their little bodies will produce endorphins and dopamine. When produced, these chemicals are known to fight stress and give us that feeling of happiness. Exercise also improves your child's attention, concentration and benefits their entire body.

So there are the reasons, now for some activities your children are bound to love:

- Build a snowman, snow fort or make snow angels.

- Purchase a small shovel and clear the sidewalk together.

- Color the snow with spray bottles filled with colored water.

- Bundle up for a nature walk; remember to take the dog.

- Build indoor forts with pillows, boxes and blankets.

- Gather some snow and make snow ice cream.

- Have a dance off and don't forget to record it!

- Limit screen time and do the household chores together (OK, the children may not like them all).

- Google a yoga video you can do together as a family.

- Pillow fight!!!!

- Feed the birds by just spreading seed or making a bagel bird feeder.

- And, of course, visit the Jefferson City Area YMCA. With four locations, you are bound to find an activity that best meets the needs of your family. Whether it's tennis, racquet ball, basketball, swimming or just playing tag in the gym, your little ones will get that much needed exercise.

As you put each little sock, boot, hat and mitten on, know this: The exercise that is about to happen will strengthen your child's lungs, bones and heart while building lifelong healthy habits.

And who knows, it may be one of your child's favorite memories.

Angie Bax, assistant director at the YMCA Child Development Center, a licensed child care program serving 132 children, ages 6 weeks to 6 years.

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